PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In conjunction with Brown’s Year of China initiative, University administrators, faculty, and students will visit Shanghai in early January to enhance the University’s global connections and international exchanges. During the trip, the group, including Matthew Gutmann, vice president for international affairs, and Joshua Taub ’93, regional director for international advancement, will meet with leaders in higher education, business, and government.
Five faculty and 10 students from Brown’s Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies will also be in Shanghai to take part in the Brown-sponsored Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA) Winter Institute Jan. 5–20, 2012. Together with Chinese students, scholars, and practitioners, the institute will explore the physical, theoretical, and theatrical geographies of contemporary performance. The two-week program includes lectures and workshops on the creative process of theatre, community culture, and intercultural performance, as well as visits to historic and cultural sites and performances. The Winter Institute is a joint collaboration among STA, Brown, New York University, Princeton University, and Yale University.
On Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, the group will convene for a celebratory event with Brown friends, alumni, students, and parents. The speaking program features Erik Ehn, professor of theatre arts and performance studies; representatives from STA; Ruby Shang ’71, regional director for Asia of the William J. Clinton Foundation, Clinton Climate Initiative; and Max Song ’14, a Brown student from Beijing concentrating in biomedical engineering. President Ruth J. Simmons will present a video message.
In recent years, as part of an overall internationalization initiative, the University has enhanced its ties to institutions of higher learning in China. Brown students and faculty from across the University collaborate with counterparts from Nanjing University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), National Cheng Kung University College of Medicine, Peking University, and Zhejiang University, in a broad range of disciplines and areas spanning medicine, science, social science, and the humanities.
For example, the Brown Global Forums initiative with 12 universities around the world, including CUHK, Nanjing University, and Zhejiang University, foster closer research ties through a short-term faculty exchange program. The forums provide Brown faculty with the chance to meet face-to-face with potential collaborators on their home campuses and network with a wider range of scholars to foster meaningful and sustainable collaboration.
“Brown has long-standing ties with leading Chinese institutions, including in the fields of medicine, urban studies, and gender studies. In addition, today more students from China attend Brown than from any other country, other than the United States,” said Gutmann. “We are delighted with newer partnerships in engineering, public health, and environmental studies, bringing together top scholars and scientists from Brown and China on some of the most pressing global challenges from migration to climate change to aging populations.”
The STA Winter Institute is the latest development in an ongoing partnership between Brown University and the STA. Artists with the STA visited campus in October 2011 for a series of performances and workshops. In the summer of 2010, Brown students participated in a one-month Shanghai Summer School program with more than 300 students from around the world. Offering exposure to Chinese culture, from opera to calligraphy to ping pong, the program aims to promote traditional Chinese culture and to improve understanding of China and friendship between countries.
Year of China
The visit coincides with Brown’s Year of China, a program of major public lectures, art exhibitions, academic conferences, and performances throughout the 2011-12 academic year, exploring the culture, economy, and politics of Greater China. Events during the fall semester have included lectures by author Ha Jin; Li Xiguang, dean of Tsignhua University International Center for Communication Studies; Wei Yang, president of Zhejiant University; Justin Lin, senior vice president and chief economist at the World Bank; renowned Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang; and international film producer Janet Yang ’78.
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